Thank goodness for our experience at the mediocre Alila Jakarta (read the REVIEW) we moved to the once-again, well-proven, time-tested luxurious and comfortable Four Seasons Hotel, this one located in Jakarta.
The unassuming façade and entrance of this former Regent Hotel belies the understated elegance within. Lacking from the lobby area is the decadence found in some Asian hotels. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I recalled that the former Regent Hotel was owned by, among others, Adrian Zecha, the founder of the Amanresorts brand.
When we requested for a room away from the elevator and preferably a room at the end of the hallway (a corner room), by golly, we got it on both accounts (unlike our Alila experience). In the US, the Four Seasons room tend to be on the small side, but here at the Jakarta location, our room was quite spacious. There was plenty of space between the bed and the desk/TV armoire area and plenty of closet space. Four panels of French windows, equipped with wooden blinds, open out to a balcony, facing the Four Seasons Residence across the street.
When we reached the gym area, we saw a floor-to-ceiling wood carving, reminiscent of the decor at the lobby area of Amanusa (Nusa Dua, Bali), perhaps another proof of Mr. Zecha’s vision. The gym, located by the pool, is well equipped and staffed. Just like the Four Seasons in Shanghai, the staff anticipates one’s every need (towels, bottled water, etc.). The ozone pool (read: ultra clear down under) is great for lap swimming and is surrounded by the usual chaise-longues by the pair; one end of the pool is buttressed by an unpolished stonewall with falls.
The two-floor SPA is the gem of this hotel: each treatment room looks different and is equipped with different facilities as well: some has rain forest shower, some has bathtubs. The locker room with steam, sauna, and hot + cold dipping pool is a great place to unwind after a day’s work (well, there is no need for any reasons). Cold towels and a jar of cold water with sliced oranges are available, a great respite from the dehydration that results from the use of the steam and sauna.
[Update: November 2011]
The hotel still retains its upscale service. Security is top-notch, especially because the current President of Indonesia seems to enjoy having breakfast at the hotel, making security even tighter.
One major faux-pas committed by a staff during my recent visit: A massage therapist was texting via his phone while massaging me with one hand. This was a blatant violation of privacy, not acceptable at any level: Cell phone can act as a camera and a recorder.
At first I complained to the Hotel Manager and specifically not mentioned the therapist’s name, as my goal was for the hotel to advise their staff not to use their cell phones while providing services to guests. The Manager, however, passed on the information to the Spa Manager, who of course found out who the therapist was, confronted him, and wrote back to me with the denial from the therapist.
Needless to say I was very disappointed with the therapist not admitting his fault (of course out of fear of dismissal, which was not my aim in the first place), but with his denial (saying that he was operating the room remote control), I was able to describe in detail what had happened. Eventually the Spa Manager apologized and offered a free treatment on my next visit. Case closed.
Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta
Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said
Tel: +62 (21) 252-3456
Fax: +62 (21) 252-4480